This studio explores the fundamentals of sequential art and graphic storytelling, with a focus on comics, storyboards, infographics and other forms of visual narrative. It is aimed at students interested in cartooning, graphic novels, illustrated books, animation, graphic recording - any mediums that use a combination of images and text in sequence - and in applying techniques from those forms across other areas of communication design.
You will research histories of sequential art in a global context, including (but not limited to) bandes dessinée, manga, fumetti, graphic novels, graphic journalism and webcomics. This will familiarise you with the visual and material vocabularies specific to certain genres, cultures and mediums within sequential art. You will also explore and incorporate material and techniques from adjacent fields such as photography, filmmaking and animation. Your SKO project will be a graphic diary made up of weekly entries in comics form, recording and reflecting on your research.
Sequential art is unique in the freedoms it gives an audience: to build their own visual hierarchy, fill in the gaps that make the sequence cohesive, and determine their own timing. This studio will focus on the ways you can experiment with these unique properties, while at the same time designing for clarity and accessibility, not just for the 'comics-literate'.
Throughout the semester you will make a series of sequential artworks using different methods, including montage, abstraction, collage, visual metaphor, appropriation, data visualisation and wordless comics. You will learn to compose sequences that cohere both as a whole and in segments, using grids, freeform layouts and other formats. Through these experiments, you will also aim to find a material approach that best suits your skillset.
There are three assessment tasks for this studio, which complement each other in form and function.
Brief 1: Digital infographic
Brief 2: Printed comic / graphic narrative
Brief 3: Graphic Diary (SKO)
Scott McCloud, "Understanding Comics"
Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik, "How to Read Nancy"